Average Real Estate Commission in California: 2024 Data

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By Jon Stubbs Updated July 1, 2024

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How commission works | Commission calculator | Best ways to save | Methodology

📊 The data:


Our December 2023 survey of local agents found that the average real estate commission in California is 5.11%, which is less than the national average of 5.49%. Calculate your estimated commission in California.

To sell a house worth $786,938 — the median home value in California — you'll pay about $40,213 in realtor fees.

Realtor commission is usually the largest cost you'll face when selling your home — but you don't have to pay the full 5.11%. You can use a discount broker to save on realtor fees.

Clever Real Estate could help you save thousands on commission by pre-negotiating 1.5% listing fees with full-service California realtors from top brokerages.

On that same California home, you'd pay just $26,800, up to 33% less than paying average rates.

»SAVE: Sell with Clever for 1.5% listing fees and save thousands in commission!

How real estate commission works in California

Average listing commission 2.69%
Average buyer's agent commission 2.41%
Total average commission 5.11%
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There are usually two real estate agents involved in the real estate transactions of a home sale:

  • The seller's agent (also called the listing agent), who represents the home seller
  • The buyer's agent, who represents the person buying the home

Based on our research, the average real estate commission paid in California for listing agents is 2.69% of the final home price and 2.41% for buyer's agents, for a total of 5.11%.

» LEARN: How do real estate broker commissions work?

Real estate commission calculator for California

Use this commission calculator to estimate how much you'll pay in realtor fees when you sell your home in California. Enter an estimate of your home's sale price, and see how much you'll pay at different commission rates.

If you want to decrease your realtor fees, Clever can connect you with a top local listing agent who charges just 1.5%. This will allow you to retain more money from the sale for yourself.

» SAVE: Sell with Clever for 1.5% listing fees and save thousands in commission!

Who pays realtor fees in California?

When selling a home in California, the real estate agent fees for both the seller's and buyer's representatives are subtracted from the final sales price. You don't need to pay these costs upfront.  

The seller's agent makes their fee by supplying services like market evaluation and managing the closing process. The buyer's agent makes their fee by bringing a qualified purchaser who meets the contract stipulations and completes the sale on time.

You don't have to pay these fees out of pocket. Similar to closing costs, the real estate agent fees are deducted from the sale revenue when the home purchase is finalized. 

Why do sellers pay the buyer's real estate agent commission?

Offering to cover the buyer's agent fee will likely attract more potential purchasers for your home.  

Taking on this cost makes your home more appealing to buyers, who otherwise would need to pay their agent's fee upfront plus the down payment and closing charges. Many buyers can't afford these extra initial expenditures.

When you make a competitive offer for the buyer's agent fee, real estate agents are more incentivized to showcase your home to their clients. This increases your odds of getting multiple offers. Real estate professionals recommend advertising a buyer's agent fee within 0.5% of the local standard, which is 2.41% in California.

Will the NAR lawsuit change how real estate commission works?

On March 15, 2024, the National Association of Realtors agreed to pay $418 million in damages to settle a real estate commission lawsuit the industry group lost in November 2023. 

While the full impact of the settlement is yet to be determined, experts believe that the change will eventually lead to lower buyer's agent commissions and give buyers the ability to negotiate those commissions based on the services they need. 

The terms of the settlement are scheduled to take effect in mid-July 2024. But, the settlement hasn't been officially approved yet, and it could be delayed or changed by objections. We'll continue to monitor the status of the settlement and the effects it has on the real estate industry.

» READ MORE:

How to save on realtor fees in California

Commission rates are not set in stone. In fact, we found that while 2.69% is the average listing commission in California, rates typically fall between 1.00% and 4.00%. You can save money by negotiating a lower rate with your listing agent or by working with a discount real estate brokerage.

Listing commission range 1.00%– 4.00%
Buyer's agent commission 1.00%– 3.00%
Total commission range 2.00%– 7.00%
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» LEARN: What's the commission on a $1 million home?

Can I negotiate realtor commission in California?

Real estate commission is always negotiable. In California, the 58 agents we surveyed said these were their most common reasons for agreeing to lower their commission.

Would you lower your commission for…? Agents who answered yes
Homeowners who are repeat clients 66%
Homeowners who also plan to buy with you 66%
Homeowners with more than one property to sell 64%
Seller’s situation (e.g. divorce or death in the family) 50%
Higher property values 43%
High competition for clients 41%
Homes expected to sell quickly 36%
High buyer demand in the area 29%
Periods of low housing inventory 22%
Houses in excellent condition 19%
Highly experienced home sellers 15%
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Negotiating realtor fees in California depends on two main factors: your situation and the housing market.

Factor You may have an easier time negotiating low rates if...
Your situation
  • You're selling a high-value home
  • You have a personal relationship with a realtor
  • You can offer a realtor repeat business
The California housing market
  • Homes are selling quickly
  • There are relatively few homes listed for sale
  • Home values are rising
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While your personal circumstances may vary, real estate conditions in California will impact all home sellers in the area.

Generally in a seller's market, where home sellers have more leverage than buyers, listing agents' jobs are more straightforward so they may be more open to reducing their fees. The opposite is often true in a buyer's market.  

Not comfortable negotiating with a real estate agent? Avoid the awkward discussion and let Clever pre-negotiate a lower rate with a top local agent for you.

To assess the current state of your local real estate market, examine these three factors:

  •  Months of inventory
  •  Sale to list price ratio  
  •  Home value movements

If all factors indicate California is a seller's market, you may be in a good position to negotiate a lower rate with your agent. If market conditions are mixed or favor buyers, it may be tougher to get your realtor to accept a cheaper commission.

The current state of the California real estate market

Factor Trends Indication
Months of inventory There's 1.63 months of housing inventory on the market Seller's market
Sale-to-list ratio Homes are selling for 102.00% of their listing price Seller's market
Home values Home values have risen 15.62% year over year Neutral market
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» LEARN: See state-by-state average commission rates. How does your state compare?

Low commission real estate companies in California 

Negotiating a lower rate with a professional negotiator can be hard! In many cases, home sellers can save just as much (or more!) by selling with a low commission real estate company.

Discount real estate brokers typically offer full-service support for a reduced commission percentage or flat rate. How they create those discounts will depend on the company's model, with some creating more risks and trade-offs than others.

Best for most sellers

Clever Real Estate

Learn More
4.9
Excellent

Listing Fee

1.5% ($3,000 min.)

Availability

Nationwide

Customer Rating

5.0 (2,627)

Overview

Pricing

Reviews

Contact

Overview: Clever is our top pick in California for home sellers looking to save on realtor commission without sacrificing service.

✅ Benefits and features: Clever gets you discounted rates (up to 50%) from non-discount realtors. Plus Clever’s matching service is highly rated and free to use with no obligation.

🏠 How it works: Clever matches you with top local realtors from major brokerages like RE/MAX and Compass. You compare options to find the best fit and get the special 1.5% listing fee (same as Redfin) no matter who you choose.

Pros

  • Sell with a traditional agent from a name-brand brokerage (not a discount agent)
  • Agents work for up to 50% off their typical rate when you go through Clever
  • Most agent selection by far — choose from many top California realtors

Cons

  • No guarantee that you’ll be able to work with a specific agent or brokerage of your choice
  • Additional services like professional staging, drone photos, and 3D tours may come with an extra cost (agents will provide detailed information during their listing presentation)

Fee structure

  • 1.5% listing commission ($3,000 min.) paid at closing
  • 2–3% buyer’s agent commission paid at closing
Weighted avg. 5.0 2,627
Trustpilot 5.0 2,402
Google 4.8 225

Website: listwithclever.com
Phone: 1-833-225-3837
Hours: 5 a.m.–7 p.m. PST, 7 days a week
Address: 4625 Lindell Blvd, 2nd FL, St. Louis, MO 63108

Get started with Clever today!

Redfin California

Learn More
4.7
Very good

Listing Fee

1.5% ($2,000–9,000 min.)

Availability

Multi-state

Customer Rating

N/A*

Overview

Pricing

Reviews

Contact

Overview: Redfin’s discount real estate service offers a decent value overall for most home sellers in California. 

✅ Benefits and features: Redfin’s 1.5% listing fees can net you solid savings, and you can get an additional 0.5% listing fee savings if you sell and buy with Redfin within 12 months. Redfin is also a large, well-established brand with more discount realtors to choose from than many local discount real estate brokers.

🚩 Potential red flags: Redfin’s tech-centric and team-based approach to selling isn’t for everyone. Redfin conducts most of the process remotely, and you work with a Lead Agent and a back-office team. Redfin also has a minimum fee of $2,000–9,000 in California, depending upon the location. So depending on where you’re selling, you may pay slightly more than the advertised 1.5% rate for a lower-priced home.

Pros

  • Significant savings on listing fees
  • Respected reputation and reliable agents
  • Appealing, technology-driven approach for sellers who prefer it

Cons

  • May not be the ideal choice for those seeking a more hands-on, personalized agent experience
  • The $2,000–9,000 minimum fee range in California is higher than alternatives
  • Redfin has a smaller agent pool compared to Clever

Fee structure

  • 1.5% listing fee ($2,000–9,000 min. in California) at closing
  • 2–3% buyer’s agent commission at closing
  • 0.5% listing fee refund if you also buy with Redfin within 12 months

*Not enough available data at this time

Website: redfin.com
Phone: 1-844-759-7732
Hours: 8 a.m.–5 p.m. CT, 7 days a week
Address: 2710 Media Center Dr, #210, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Areas served: California

Trelora Realty

Learn More
4.1
Very good

Listing Fee

1%

Availability

Multi-state

Customer Rating

4.8 (632)

Overview

Pricing

Reviews

Contact

Our take: Trelora Realty is a full-service discount real estate company with a unique team approach, offering potential savings on realtor fees.

✅ Benefits and features: Trelora provides significantly discounted commission rates compared to traditional realtors, which has generated positive customer reviews. This company also uses a team of real estate professionals to serve each client, which could allow for a more diversified range of expertise and service.

🚩 Potential red flags: Rather than assigning a single agent to facilitate the entire process, Trelora uses a team of agents. This approach could potentially cause confusion or lack of personalization (especially if there’s no clear communication).

Pros

  • Significant savings due to low 1% commission rate
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Some sellers may enjoy working with a team vs. a single agent

Cons

  • Potential lack of personal service due to team-based approach

Fee structure

  • 1% listing fee at closing
  • 2–3% buyer’s agent commission at closing
Weighted avg. 4.8 632
Google 4.7 441
Zillow 5.0 191

Website: trelora.com
Phone: 866-471-3440
Address: 2110 K St, Sacramento, CA 95816
Areas served: Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington

» LEARN: How do discount real estate brokers offer lower fees?

Next steps

Thinking of selling your home but don't know where to start? Here are some next steps.

Start interviewing local agents

Set up some listing appointments, where an agent visits your home to discuss its estimated value, lay out their marketing strategy, and provide a quote for their fee.

Here's why it's smart to sit down with a few agents before signing with one:

It's completely free to meet with agents: There's no obligation or risk on your end. Just keep in mind that the agent is meeting with you to win your business, and will try to sell you on their service.

You can compare pricing and features: Shopping around helps you find the best fit for your specific needs – in terms of fees, experience, and services provided.

Learn more about your market from an expert: Realtors can provide local data, like how much nearby homes are selling for, how fast they sell, and other current market trends.

Learn about the home sales process: An agent can walk you through the sales process from start to finish, and provide tailored advice for marketing your property to home buyers.

To get started, check out our guide on the best ways to find real estate agents — or you can sign up for Clever’s free agent matching service below to connect with top realtors in your area right now (and save on commission).

Clever has pre-negotiated low commission rates of only 1.5%, with California's top agents. Contact Clever today to find out how much you can save on commission!

👋 Next Steps: Find an agent!

Clever can connect you with top local agents sell your house for a pre-negotiated low rate: just a 1.5% listing fee when your home sells (half the typical rate!).

You can interview your Clever agent matches, get free pricing estimates, and compare marketing plans — all with no strings attached.

Ready to learn more? Click below to take our simple quiz and see your agent matches!

Methodology

We gathered our commission rate data from a survey of 630 of our partner agents. The survey asked about standard local rates for both listing and buying agents. We also asked agents about when and why they're willing to negotiate real estate commissions. 

Additionally, we utilized the following data from Zillow and Realtor.com:

  • Home values, list prices, and sale prices: Based on Zillow data as of May 2024
  • Sale-to-list ratios: Based on Zillow data as of May 2024 (unless specified otherwise)
  • Months of inventory: Based on Realtor.com data as of May 2024

Additional resources for California home sellers

Better real estate agents at a better rate

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If you don't love your Clever partner agent, you can request to meet with another, or shake hands and go a different direction. We offer this because we're confident you're going to love working with a Clever Partner Agent.